Dictionary search doesn't give complete results & adding parents problematic

I've noticed something odd about the dictionary. As an example: try searching for:

不 bu4 - not

It doesn't matter whether you search by only the english, pinyin, character, or english+pinyin, or english+character. You get a list of all the dependents of 不, but not 不 itself!

I've also come across words in the past where searching by alternative english meaning does not yield the character you're looking for, but using both english and pinyin does. For example, if you search for 木 using "wood", you find all its dependents, but 木 itself only appears if you add "mu4" to the serach.

This is also a problem when it comes to adding parent characters for words. So for the above example, I was unable to add 不 as a parent for 坏.

Other words which aren't appearing in the dictionary search:

朿 卂

(I know these were added quite recently, so that might explain why, but 不 must have been one of the first batch of words uploaded ever, I don't know why that wouldn't show up)

Pretty sure there are more, and I suspect this issue may not be limited to only mandarin.

Also: unticking/ticking the "Moderated items only" box doesn't seem to do yield any further results either.

Posted by extantpanda 4/19/12, last update 5/11/12 (2 years ago)
  • Ok so after further experimenting, you can find 不 by searching for its english alternative "Negation particle".

    Maybe this is a remnant from its previous primary definition "negative" ?

    Posted by extantpanda 4/19/12 (2 years ago)
  • I'd noticed this occasionally, although hadn't noticed that searching for alternatives works - it's the same for 水 shuĭ 'water', which you have to find using 'beverage' or 'liquid'.

    Are you sure 朿 and 卂 are in the dictionary? I occasionally (very rarely) use components in my mems that aren't included in the dictionary...hope this isn't causing confusion.

    Posted by Azimuth 4/20/12 (2 years ago)
  • Thank you for this - I had noticed that there were some oddities, but these details will definitely help to pin down what needs improving.

    Thanks

    Ben

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   4/20/12 (2 years ago)
  • @Azimuth Yeah Ben added

    http://www.memrise.com/item/1384218/stab-10/?set=bens-words

    and

    http://www.memrise.com/item/1389764/to-fly-rapidly/?set=bens-words

    a few weeks ago.

    I don't think using components that aren't listed in the dictionary causes any confusion. I find it much easier to learn a word through knowing the components anyway. Of course, if would be ideal if you could add those components to the dictionary! On a related note: should these newly found components be added to the "Mandarin Foundation" course?

    Posted by extantpanda 4/20/12 (2 years ago)
  • @r7ll Thanks for those urls, will add them to my wordlist.

    Posted by Azimuth 4/20/12 (2 years ago)
  • ...or at least, I will when the search is fixed!

    Posted by Azimuth 4/20/12 (2 years ago)
  • Haha, I know, right? It would be great to be able to add a word to a wordlist directly from its page.

    Posted by extantpanda 4/23/12 (2 years ago)
  • hi to all in this discussion. i was making my first mandarin list of words and came to similar problems. and ideas. if i try to add the words one(1) or two(2) in the dictionary, in the below-list there are only results that are made from combination characters and not the simple horizontal line signs that i already learned in some of great courses i found here (thanx for them). i tried to do the opposite - to paste horizontal line signs into mandarin window, and then they show. why is that they dont show if i type english first? my concern is that if i think of some words that i want to know and want to add them from dictionary, i would probably add some complicated versions and not the nice simple ones which have mems from other users already. this leads me to the second question: if i want to add words that already exist, with mems from other users, do they come up automatically? or if not, how do you paste/copy mems from other courses into your course? sorry if i am asking some obvious things. thanx in advance.

    Posted by mara1974 5/10/12 (2 years ago)
  • @mara1974, adding chinese words from the English definitions is a very tricky task, because there are so many ways of translating a single english word into Chinese; often no word is a perfect match, but a whole load of different Chinese words might sometimes be used to give the sense of the English word. It is a difficult job to work out how to arrange the dictionary search to highlight the most useful ones (but the dictionary search will be made much better than it currently is).

    The most reliable way to make a list and find the words that you want to learn is by pasting the chinese characters into the add words "as a list" box. If you just paste your whole list of vocab into that then it will pick out all the matches in the wiki. Then if there are any duplicate matches (I am merging all the duplicates at the moment, but it is taking a little while to totally remove them all) your can choose which one you want.

    Because wordlists in Memrise are just made by pulling words out of the wiki, if another user has added a mem to a word, then you will see that mem in any wordlist that the word appears in (as long as there are no duplicates; that is why we need to remove them).

    Does that help? Please let me know if you have any other questions at all,

    Best wishes

    Ben

    Posted by BenWhately Staff   5/11/12 (2 years ago)
  • thanx for the tip, ben! it is very useful. i will try that. mara

    Posted by mara1974 5/11/12 (2 years ago)

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